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Karnataka: Congress seeks sedition case over BJP minister Eshwarappa’s ‘saffron flag may replace national flag’ remark

Speaker Vishweshwar Hegde Kaggeri was forced to adjourn the assembly session for lunch after pandemonium reigned in the House over the adjournment motion.

Karnataka Minitser KS Eshwarappa. (File)

The Congress on Wednesday moved an adjournment motion in the state legislative assembly over a purported statement by a BJP minister that the ‘bhagwa dhwaj’ (saffron flag) “may become the national flag in the future”.

Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Minister KS Eshwarappa said last week that the saffron flag, a symbol of Hindutva, could replace the Indian national flag on the Red Fort in the future.

On Wednesday, former Karnataka chief minister and Leader of Opposition Siddaramaiah moved an adjournment motion seeking dismissal of the BJP minister.

“Eshwarappa must be dismissed from the cabinet and a case of sedition must be filed against him for denigrating the national flag,” Siddaramaiah said in his opening statement while moving the motion.

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Law minister J C Madhuswamy refuted the motion and claimed that the BJP minister Eshwarappa had only responded to media questions. He claimed that the statements do not amount to an act of sedition.

Speaker Vishweshwar Hegde Kaggeri was forced to adjourn the assembly session for lunch after pandemonium reigned in the House over the adjournment motion.

Last week, while responding to Congress leader DK Shivakumar’s claim that the saffron flag had replaced the tricolour in a government college in Shivamogga district, Eshwarappa had stated that the saffron flag could one day replace the national flag.

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“Today in this country we are discussing Hindutva and Hindu vichara (Hindu ideology). People used to laugh at one point when we said Ram Mandir will be constructed in Ayodhya, aren’t we constructing it now? In the same way, some time in the future, after 100 or 200 or 500 years, bhagwa dhwaj may become the national flag. I don’t know,” he said.

“Tricolour is the national flag now, and it should be respected by everyone. Now constitutionally we have accepted the tricolour as our national flag. Those who don’t respect it are traitors. Hundreds of years ago the chariots of Sri Ramachandra and Maruthi had saffron flags on them. Was the tricolour flag there in our country then? Now it (tricolour) is fixed as our national flag, what respect it has to be given, should be given by every person who takes food in this country, there is no question about it,” he added.

First published on: 16-02-2022 at 18:29 IST
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